When 1,500 mall shoppers were asked what they wished for most when they blow out their birthday candles, men and women gave vastly different answers. The number one wish of women was "more time with spouse." Among men that wish came in at 27th on the list. What did the guys wish for most often? “A lower golf score." And this is the gender that God has given the responsibility of spiritual headship? What was God thinking? Isn't it true that most of the time it is the woman who would do a better job fulfilling this role? And most men would be happy to abdicate the responsibility. There are a lot of others things he'd rather be doing on a Sunday morning, like lowering his golf score. And yet God has chosen the male gender to be the servant leader of his home precisely because fulfilling this role is more necessary for his soul than it is for hers. "For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior" (Ephesians 5:23).
In Fatherless America, Blankenhorn notes, “Never before in the
I. MODELING UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
I grew up in a home where I never heard my father telling me “I love you”. Though he showed in many ways that he loved me, I often felt that his affirmation of me was always conditional and based on my performance. I became a performer in order to receive my fathers love. That unhealthy pattern has hindered me for a long time from receiving my heavenly fathers love. Unfortunately many adults have become approval addicts. We tend to think unless I do something I am not liked and approved by God but the truth of the matter is that God loves you no matter what. You don’t have to prove anything to God.
The best illustration of God’s unconditional love is found in the book of Hosea. God told Hosea to marry a prostitute, not only that he was to take her back again after she ran away with other lovers. Hosea 3:1 The LORD said to me, "Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes." That’s truly unconditional love!
Unconditional love doesn’t mean enabling our children by giving them everything they want. It is not always catering to our children’s whims and wishes. It is not always cheering them to excel, though threre is place for all that. Loving our children unconditionally means loving them when they miserably fail our expectations and mess their lives up. It means accepting them with arms wide open when they return to us. It means being there for your children at all times, both in good especially during bad times. That is what God does for us, no matter what happens to us, Romans 8:39 tells us that “nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The second area of modeling is honesty.
II. MODELING HONESTY
Chuck Colson, in an article for Moody Magazine, discussed the ugliest of sins of all—not those displayed for the world to see, but those which are hidden in the heart of man. He writes, “ As a result of having been at the center of the biggest political upheaval of this century, I am often asked which of my Watergate deeds causes me the greatest remorse. My invariable reply is, ‘None. My deepest remorse is for the hidden sins of my heart, which are far worse.”
One of the tragedies of our times is that we have seen many politicians, government servants, businessmen, sports stars, and some spiritual leaders who appeared to be honest and genuine while all along cheating their loved ones and others who have trusted them. These mostly are men who became victims of their secret sins, and when they were exposed who hurt the most? It was their spouses and children. When it comes to think of it many men and women lack honesty in their personal lives yet they may put up a great facade. They cover up sin until it is exposed.
How about the way we do our business? A rancher asked a veterinarian for some free advice. "I have a horse," he said, "that walks normally sometimes and limps sometimes. What shall I do "The veterinarian replied, "The next time he walks normally, sell him. What is honesty? And how can we cultivate honesty in our lives? Honest means, the quality or fact of being honest; uprightness and fairness; truthfulness; sincerity, or frankness; freedom from deceit or fraud.”
We cultivate honesty by learning to tell the truth even when it hurts. Don’t lie to your children and don’t encourage them to lie, let your yes be yes and let your no be no. When you make a promise, keep it. In Proverbs 12: 17-22, we read, “Truth lasts; lies are here today, gone tomorrow… God can’t stomach liars; he loves the company of those who keep their word” (The Message) you can be an honest dad, by modeling after your heavenly father who is righteous and delights in those who are honest. The Third area of Modeling is Sexual Purity.
III. MODELING SEXUAL PURITY
“I still believed sex was like Oxygen and that I could not survive without it” said Darrell Brazell who struggled with sexual addiction for many years which nearly destroyed his ministry and family. Sex is a wonderful gift of God and it is satisfying and fulfilling when it is practiced in the loving, logical limits of marriage. Within those safe confinements God approves of us experimenting and enjoying this precious gift. Any thing before, and outside of marriage is condemned by God.
In an over sexed society and a world of multibillion dollars Porn industry it is a great challenge for men and women and young people in particular to maintain sexual purity. We are constantly bombarded by exotic images in movies, magazines, and on TV. “Our young people have developed their concept of sexuality based upon this media fiction without realizing the price tag that comes with free love and casual sex. A young lady tells of that price, what the movies and the soap operas don’t tell us about is the devastation and the broken hearts that occur due to affairs and premarital sex… Without a doubt, the hardest and most painful thing I’ve gone through…more than major surgery, tests for cancer, a broken family, and numerous job rejections… is getting over a sexual relationship with a married man.”
It is heart breaking to hear stories of this nature. None of us parents wish this kind of devastation our children. God wants to spare men, women and young people from the heart ache caused by uncontrolled, unprotected, and wrong forms of sexual encounters. He gave several warnings in His word for our advantage. Throughout scripture God warns against sexual impurity (that is any sexual activity outside of marriage) Abstain from Sexual immorality (Acts 15:29). Flee from sexual immorality ( I Cor 6:18), We should not commit Sexual immorality ( I Cor 10:8) But among you there must be even a hint of sexual immorality.. because these are improper for God’s holy people. (Eph 5:3).
How can mums and dads help protect their young ones from the hands of the evil one? I want to give you some straight forward and honest suggestions. You may not like to hear them but in the end if you follow these steps you can be free from sexual addictions. Firstly if you are addicted to pornography or any form of sexual addiction you need help from God and a trusted Christian counselor to begin that healing and restoration process, confess your sin, repent and ask God’s forgiveness. Secondly, especially men if you are struggling with lust make a covenant with your eyes; this is the biggest battle to win for men. In every man’s battle Arterburn notes, “You can win this battle by training your eyes to “bounce” away from the sights of pretty women and sensual images immediately. If you “bounce your eyes” for six weeks you can win this war.” Thirdly, get your house ready; by cleaning up X rated, movies, magazines, DVD’s, Pictures and video games, don’t donate them to a Yard Sale, burn them or throw them in the trash. Finally, try to walk in the light, by being accountable to a trusted friend. A caution though while choosing an accountability partner, look for some one who is not having the same problem you are having otherwise instead of helping each other you end up enabling each other.
In closing; fathers and mothers are given an awesome responsibility to train, and raise children in the ways of God. Let’s not abdicate that responsibility. You can be the best dad you possibly can for your children. The road to becoming the best dad starts today. It starts with making a decision to be the best dad and by intentionally modeling uncondional love, honesty and sexual purity. The best way to keep our children from doing wrong things is not by prohibiting them but by living exemplary lives. Because what they see in us is what they imitate. May the Lord help us to be the right models for our children. Amen